Austromyrtus tenuifolia

Narrow-leafed Myrtle, Narrow-leafed Midgenberry

Family: Myrtaceae

Austromyrtus tenuifolia grows to 2 metres high and about 1.5 metres wide.

It has a natural occurrence confined to the Greater Sydney Basin, north from about Campbelltown-area, north to around Gosford and west to Newnes Plateau. 

It grows in wet sclerophyll forests, often beside streams or in damp places, usually near sandstone outcrop. 

Austromyrtus spp. have simple and opposite leaves. In this species, leaves are narrow, linear to linear-lanceolate, to 40 mm long and to 3 mm wide; mid to dark-green, with the lower surface paler and sometimes hairy. 

Austromyrtus spp. have white, 5-petalled flowers are produced solitarily or in cymes or raceme-like groups in leaf axils. In this species, flowers are produced solitarily on short stalks, in leaf axils, in late spring through to summer.

The fruit is a berry, round, light-purple and dotted with dark-purple spots, 4 to 5 mm in diameter. 

In the garden

A showy and local Sydney plant that is worth a place in your garden.

Author’s note: My plant, is now many years old and is growing in my northern suburbs Sydney’s garden, on a thinnish layer of soil over a clay base in a position that is often quite dry compared to its natural habitat. While it is hardy in this position, it flowers much, much better if it receives supplementary watering or plenty of rain in the months leading up to its flowering.

Prune to create a dense plant and promote more flowering. 

The fruit is very edible and makes an interesting jam (if you can collect enough of them). The fruit is very similar in taste to Austromyrtus dulcis, the Midyim.


Propagates from cuttings or seed

Other information

Austromyrtus is a genus of only 3 species – endemic to NSW and Queensland. NSW currently has two recognised species.

This species may be able to regenerate after fire through root/basal suckering. It would also regenerate from seed.

Austromyrtus – Latin – Austro meaning “south” and myrtus – meaning “myrtle” – a southern myrtle.

tenuifolia – Latin – tenui – meaning “thin” – referring to the comparatively thin leaves of the species. 

This species is not known to be at risk of extinction in the wild. 

NSW Flora Online (PlantNET) – Austromyrtus tenuifolia profile page      https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Austromyrtus~tenuifolia

Gardening with Angus – Austromyrtus tenuifolia profile page https://www.gardeningwithangus.com.au/austromyrtus-tenuifolia-midginberry/

Wrigley, J.W. & Fagg, M.I. (2001). Australian Native Plants – Propagation, cultivation and use in landscaping. 4th edition. New Holland Publishers, Pty. Ltd. Australia.

By Jeff Howes. Editing and additional text by Dan Clarke